Here they laid the cross on the ground while they nailed his hands and feet to it with great spikes. The cross was then lifted and dropped into a hole in the ground. The entire weight of the body tore at the spikes, and the pain was almost beyond endurance. The blood began to pound through the body as the shock of what was happening began to take its toll. As the cells of the body were broken down it became a living death that sometimes lasted for a few hours, and could even last for a few days. Since Jesus had been whipped before they took Him to be crucified, He was already weak from loss of blood. Mercifully, He lived only a few hours on the cross.
Even with all the pain, Jesus thought of others rather than Himself. His first words from the cross were, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Even though He could have threatened to punish them eternally when they faced Him in judgement, he did not do so. He thought of His mother, who stood by the cross weeping, and asked his beloved friend John to take care of her. On either side of Him there were two thieves crucified with Him. When one of them expressed faith in Jesus, the Saviour answered, "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." As the terrible afternoon wore on and His pain increased he finally moaned, "I thirst,"and was offered vinegar, which He would not drink. God blotted out the sun as if to let us know how black the deed which was being done, and out of that blackness Jesus cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" His final words expressed his complete surrender to the will of God as He said, "It is finished; Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit." He then bowed His head and died.
Even the earth could not accept the death of its Creator and Master without showing grief. There was a great earthquake which shook the countryside and made all people afraid. The only fear which we need to have, however, is that of refusing the love He showed in dying for us. The theme of our lives ought to be, "I'll live for Him who died for me, how happy then my soul shall be. I'll live for Him who died for me, my Saviour and my God."